After almost three months of using facial recognition biometrics to help verify international travelers at U.S. points of entry, Customs and Border Protection officials say they have used the technology to prevent 26 alleged imposters from entering the country.
Border Protection officials began rolling out facial biometric projects at airports and land crossings this summer. As travelers enter the U.S., they are ushered directly to a CBP official, who checks their documentation while overhead cameras match their faces to a gallery of images. For U.S. citizens, the picture is matched to the passport photo on file. If the photos don’t match, the travel is pulled aside for further investigation.
The system helps CBP meet a 15-year-old congressional mandate to use biometrics at the borders, an initiative that has often stalled due to complications with technology, funding and, at the start, an uncoordinated approach by the Homeland Security Department.
Washington Dulles International Airport recordedthe first detention due to facial recognition technology just three days after the new system was turned on, stopping a Congolese national attempting to enter the country on a false French passport. Since that time, Dulles’ program has stopped two more alleged imposters.
The facial recognition entry program is currently running at 15 international airports, though no others have reported detentions or arrests due to the systems, according to CBP figures.
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